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Don’t Make This Costly Mistake

Which is better – a $100 decrease in costs or $100 increase in income?

It’s always good to increase our income, but more people get in trouble on the cost side. This applies to your business as well as your personal finances.

Your business
Assume that you own a retail store. Every product in your store sells for $100 and costs $40. So you keep $60 every time you sell a product.

Now let’s say you’re able to cut your expenses by $100. You get to keep all of it!

So, which is better? Cutting expenses by $100! That yields $40 more!

Now, you may ask, how do you do that? Here’s something we have learned …

As you get busy running your business, it’s easy for costs to creep in that aren’t increasing sales like you thought they would. Get rid of these costs!

One of the biggest complaints bankers have about small business people is that they are too focused on their top line (sales) and they don’t spend enough time thinking about the bottom line (profit).

In the long run, your profit can only grow as fast as your sales. But in the near-term, your bottom line will grow much faster if you keep a close eye on costs.

Your personal finances
This is the same story, but for a different reason. It’s all about taxes.

Let’s assume that you will pay 30 percent on your next $100 of income. So, if you make $100 more, you get to keep $70 after taxes.

But if you can spend $100 less, you’re $100 ahead because you’ve already paid the taxes on that money!

Let’s say you get a $5,000 a year pay raise. You decide to celebrate by buying a new house … you upgrade! Your mortgage payment is now $4,800 a year higher than it was before. But hey, you have $5,000 more income, so you’re still $200 ahead, right?

That’s BEFORE TAXES.

Once we factor in 30 percent for taxes ($1,500), you’re $1,300 behind!

And the bad news has just started. This new, bigger, more expensive house probably has higher property taxes; it costs more to insure; it requires more repairs and maintenance.

Before you know it, you’re $5,000 in the whole!

What should you do with the raise?

Once again, your specific situation will determine what you should do. Consider giving yourself a SMALL reward – you’ve earned it! Then, if you have any debt – particularly credit card debt – pay that off because your return will exceed almost any investment. And it’s a guaranteed return!

Once you have that debt paid off, the money becomes yours! Now you can invest it in things that will 38 jump start your passive income].

The bottom line is this – you have complete control over your expenses. You have to convince someone to say “yes” to make a sale or get a raise. It’s much easier to control your costs!

Where have you cut costs in your biz or personal life?
Share your tips with us!

You’ve probably heard our bigg quote today, but it was so fitting that we used it anyway. Here’s Ben Franklin –  

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

And we bet that, if ole’ Ben Franklin was around today, he’d think about the taxes he was paying and modify his quote to – A penny saved is BETTER than a penny earned!

Next time, we’ll continue the money talk, but with a twist. Comedic writer Jake Novak joins us to share his “Top 5 Signs You're Managing Your Money Like Wall Street.” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Get In Tune With Your Job

Today, we want to compare two great classic country songs – Take This Job and Shove It, made popular by the unforgettable Johnny Paycheck and On the Road Again by the great Willie Nelson.

Shovin’ It
A fun, yet angry song that most of us have sung a time or two in our careers.

#1 – It’s just a job.
He says, “Take this JOB …” It’s not a career or even a stepping-stone to another job. He’s not passionate about what he does; it’s just a paycheck (pun intended) accompanied by a miserable existence.

#2 – He’s suffering for someone else.
He says, “… my woman done left and took all the reasons I was working for.” He’s working at a job he hates to please someone else. It doesn’t work!

#3 – Beware of imaginary traps.
This isn’t a short-term gig. He’s been “working in this factory for nigh on fifteen years.” You can’t blame anyone else for your misery, especially for fifteen years! Yet how many people can cite a number of reasons to stay in a job they hate? Life is too short to be unhappy!

#4 – He can’t stand his bosses.
One’s a “dog”; the other’s a “fool”. It’s true that there are bad bosses in the world. However, have you ever met someone who NEVER has a good boss? Wouldn’t you think that somewhere along the way a good boss would come along?

Lovin’ It
A fun song that makes you feel free just by listening to it.

#1 – He looks forward to work.
He “just can’t wait to get on the road again.” When you love what you do, doin’ it just can’t come soon enough!

#2 – He “makes music with [his] friends.”
Have you ever been part of a team that clicked? You were so productive. Doesn’t it feel good? There’s something special about being part of an exceptional team. We all make music in our own way.

#3 – He’s “going places that [he’s] never been.”

Have you ever been around a group of people who inspired you to reach higher and higher? You want to spend as much time as you can with people like that. They’ll help you get to places that you’ve never been!

#4 – He’s “seein’ things that [he] may never see again.”
As you grow, you outgrow. You can look back with fond memories of where you used to be and how far you’ve come.

So here are two overriding lessons to learn from these two great classics: 

  • YOU and you ALONE are in control of your life.
  • If you don’t believe that, you have a HUGE problem. It’s 109 the single most destructive thought you can have.] Shovin’ It is the result. When you realize that you’re in control, you’re Lovin’ It. Life is an adventure of your own creation.

  • Shovin’ It dreams of living while Lovin’ It is living his dreams.
  • One dreams of telling his boss to shove it. But he still hasn’t done it. Did you realize that? We didn’t until we prepared for this blog. The other just can’t wait to get back on the road again to do what he loves to do some more. He’s living his dreams every day!

We’ve talked about 2 songs here, but there are others that inspire us in our lives.

What song gets you in tune? Let us know by sharing a Comment below!

Our bigg quote today is by C.S. Lewis:

“We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”

You’re never at a dead-end because you can always do a u-turn and get back on the road again that leads to your bigg dreams.

Next time, we’ll discuss a costly mistake that you should NOT make. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Take This Job and Shove It

On the Road Again 

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What You Can Learn From Jugglers

Are you fascinated by jugglers? We are! Around the holidays, we sent our newsletter subscribers a link to an amazing video of a guy juggling six or seven balls AND playing a song on a keyboard! 

How do jugglers keep all those balls going? Since we’re not jugglers, we did some research. We found step-by-step instructions to learn how to juggle, written by Dr. Craig Rusbult. He taught juggling at the University of Washington for ten years.

Can we learn anything from jugglers about balancing our professional and personal lives?

It turns out that we can!

Start with one ball.
You need to start with one ball and get used to the motion and pattern. Practice reaching the same peak time after time. It won’t be easy at first, but over time you’ll naturally control the ball.

To juggle work and life, start with one “ball” – work, family, you-time, or another area. Obviously, you can’t ignore the other areas, but you can, and must, FOCUS on one area to start.

Find the pattern in that area – take it to its peak while keeping it under control. Otherwise, it will control you.

Start adding balls, one at a time.
Once you’ve mastered one ball, add a second. Get used to juggling the two balls while staying in control. Then add another. You’ll see that it’s not that hard to juggle three balls because you only have one ball in the air at a time.

In your real life, add a second area and give it the attention it deserves. Then add a third. At any given moment, you’ll only have one ball in play. However, you’re always planning to put the next one in play. You’re juggling your life like a pro!

4 tips to become a great work-life juggler

  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Like anything else, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

  • Find your rhythm
  • Consistency is the key – you know what to expect. You’ve established patterns of behavior. Your balls peak at the same height, which keeps your timing in check.

  • Keep it going.
  • Getting started is the hard part. Once you get it going and find your rhythm, it just naturally happens. You’re relaxed – you don’t have to force it, you’re just going with the flow.

  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Don’t worry about dropping the ball. You’re not perfect. Don’t expect yourself to be. Just smile and start juggling again!

How do you juggle all the balls in your life? Leave us a Comment.

Our Bigg Quote comes from Thomas Merton:

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity
but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”

It’s fun to watch a juggler, but the act always comes to an end. Learn to juggle your life because your show must go on!

Next time, we’ll discuss what to do when you have more potential than your job offers. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Abandon Ship!

Yesterday, we said that persistence is the single most important ingredient for your success. If you persist long enough, you’re sure to succeed! However, you have to be smart about it. With that in mind, here are four signs that it’s time to abandon ship!

Internal signs
#1 – It’s affecting your health.
Your health is more important than any career. You may be having anxiety attacks, experiencing constant stress, feeling burned out or fatigued. These are indications that it may be time for a change.

To succeed bigg, you’ll feel stressed from time-to-time. You need to push on, unless it’s affecting your health long-term. NOTHING is worth that. If your long-term health is being affected by what you’re doing, it’s time to abandon ship!

#2 – You’re bored beyond belief.
You’ve been there, done that. Every day feels like a week. It’s harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning. You don’t look forward to work. You feel like you’re stagnating.

The first sign covers your physical health. Here we’re talking about your mental health. When you’re bored to tears, it’s time to abandon ship!

External signs
#3 – There’s no room for growth.
This is related to the second sign. However, in this case, it’s beyond your control. It may be that you’ve been promoted as far as you can go. Perhaps you can’t expect any significant increase in your income. Maybe your company is reaching maturity.

You’ve taken it as far as the circumstances will allow. If there’s little or no opportunity on the horizon, it’s time to abandon ship!

#4 – The trends are bad.
Change happens. It affects your industry – for good or bad. If it’s creating damage, ask yourself 

Is it a trend or is it a fad?

Fads are short term – they will come and go. Trends are long-term things that you can’t change. Warren Buffet, the Oracle of Omaha, said, “When management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.”

We don’t doubt that you’re good. But even you can’t buck the trends. If it’s a fad, push on! If it’s a trend that’s devastating your industry, abandon ship!

Have you felt the need to abandon ship? Or maybe you’re considering it now?
Share your experience with us … leave a comment below!

But don’t just jump ship … prepare your life boat first.

Store up provisions.
Find ways to save some money – skip that latte or pack a lunch until you get settled. Set it aside to provide for you and your family.

Don’t forget your life jacket.
This is your support network. Talk to people who will encourage you, weigh in with ideas, and perhaps refer you to good opportunities.

Remember your compass.
Obviously, you need to know that you’re headed in the right direction. Check out these great resources for guidance:

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127]   

Coping With Life Change    

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Are You Going Through A Mid-Life (Career) Crisis  

135 Is It Time For You To Rock And Roll (Change Careers)]    

117 10 Signs That You’re Ready To Quit Your Job And Start A Business]    

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Finding The “Good” In Good-Bye    

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11 Visualizing The Life You Want (Part II)]    

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Take your oars.
You don’t want to just float, so grab your oars. These are things you can do to steer you in the right direction – like take a class or get a part-time job in a field you think might be interesting.

Bring your flare gun.
Prepare to market yourself – spruce up your resume and cover letter. Think creatively so you get the attention of the right people.

Our Bigg Quote today comes from George William Curtis.

“It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.”

You are the captain of your own ship. Usually you will persist and stay with the course. But occasionally, the best thing you can do is to find a new ship and start your journey anew. Bon voyage!

Next time, we’ll answer a question for one of our newsletter subscribers. He wants some tips on wooing potential investors over dinner. We’ll talk about how to be dashing while dining!

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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The Single Most Destructive Thought You Can Have

Here we are – the holidays are over and we’re back to work. We’re ripe with enthusiasm as we consider the possibilities for the New Year. With that in mind, we want to talk about the single most destructive thought you can have.

Think of people you know who have one or more of the following traits:

  • Need constant recognition.
  • Often angry, or depressed.
  • Complain about how unfair life is.
  • Scared to take any risk, or sometimes even make a decision.
  • Unsuccessful time after time, attempt after attempt, job after job.
  • Unable to trust. They have few friends.
  • They’re emotionally unhealthy, and that is even leading to physical ailments.
  • Addicted to one or more of the following: alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.

Why do people exhibit such behaviors? It’s often because of how they think. If you find yourself exhibiting one of these traits, you, too, may have fallen prey to the single most destructive thought you can have …

You think you’re not solely in control of your life.

Not accepting that you are in full control of your life is the easy way out. When life treats you badly, blame it on circumstances. Your parents. Your spouse. Your kids. Your boss. Anything or anyone, other than you! It’s much easier to blame outside forces than to accept responsibility yourself.

But some people look at this responsibility as a burden. It’s not a burden – it’s a blessing. It means you are free to create your dream life. It’s empowering!

Responsible means “response-able.”
You may be saying, “That all sounds great, but you’re kidding yourself if you think you can control everything.”

We’re NOT saying “you control everything.” We ARE saying you control your life. There is a difference.

Obviously, you can’t control everything that happens to you. But you can control how you respond. Steven Covey calls this “response-able” in his great book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Thinking freed him from captivity
Victor Frankl, in his great book, Man’s Search for Meaning, tells his inspiring story as a prisoner in the concentration camps of World War II. He seemingly lost everything – his family, his friends, his clothes, his dignity. However, there was one thing nobody could take away from him … his thoughts.

Sometimes, he chose to escape his circumstances and envision himself far, far away. He chose to learn from his experiences – from the guards and fellow prisoners. He was free from the day-to-day brutality of the concentration camp because of his thoughts. Because of how he responded to his circumstances.

Our quote today is by author and speaker Roger Dawson.

“The most self-destructive thought that any person can have
 is thinking that he or she is not in total control of his or her life.
That’s when, ‘Why me?’ becomes a theme song.”

So you, and you alone, write the song that makes the whole world sing. Make your life a melody and enjoy inner harmony.

Next time, we’ll discuss why shy people make the best networkers. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!